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How you can prepare for the hurricane season of 2017

NOAA says this hurricane season will be the worst in decades. It’s set to be even worse than they originally predicted. With Hurricane Harvey looming down on Texas, Floridians should be weary of what this may mean for the rest of this dangerous season.

Harvey has already caused widespread devastation in Texas, and it isn’t done yet. Flooding, catastrophic damage and thousands of people displaced is nothing new to locals in Florida who have seen numerous hurricanes and catastrophic storms.

Chances are you have been through a hurricane or two. Many of us remember evacuations and the loss of electricity for weeks at a time. It’s important to have a plan, especially when this season is supposed to be very active with hurricanes.

NOAA predicts 5 to 9 hurricanes and 2 to 5 major hurricanes. With our warm oceans, these storms are not a rare occurrence, but plague Florida constantly. The most important thing you can do is be prepared and have a plan for a worst case scenario.

Below is a helpful checklist of things you should have prepared before the next big storm hits.

  1. Know your evacuation route and have a plan in mind. Know where your local shelter is located in case you have to evacuate.
  2. Have a bug out bag ready. This includes clothing and any travel necessities you may need for at least two weeks of time.
  3. If you have animals or children, make sure they also have a bag ready with all necessary items they may need.
  4. Keep essentials on hand at home, in case you can’t get out in time. Keep water, non-perishable items, flashlights and a weather radio on hand.
  5. Having a generator is also a huge plus for the possible weeks you may be without power.

Always prepare for the worst. You never know when the next devastating hurricane could hit.

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Merrell Shoes: Why we love them and you will too

Shoes by the company Merrell are the most comfortable shoes Al’s Army Navy carries. Many of the sales associates wear these shoes, and the owner is a huge fan as well. If you want a lightweight, waterproof shoe or hiking boot that is great for outdoor activities, look not further than Merrell.

It was founded by Clark Matis, Randy Merrell, and John Schweizer in 1981 as an American made hiking boot. Over the years, they have perfected their craft even further by offering more options.

You will feel comfortable enough wearing these shoes around town or on a trail. They offer men, women and kids sizes, as well as clothing for every occasion. Train for a competition in these shoes or simply walk around the neighborhood.

Merrell shoes and clothing are quality pieces that stand up to years of wear and tear. It’s why we carry them in our stores and wear them in our down time. Come in to our stores and see what all the hype is about. We can also order you anything we don’t currently stock by Merrell.

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Para-Lite 550 Paracord / Tinder: Why it is arguably the most influential tool any survivalist can own

Sometimes called fire-cord, Para-Lite paracord is essentially paracord that can be opened up and lit to make a fire in the most extreme situations. 5ive Star Gear, a company which is a part of Atlanco, has a reputation for innovative products for the survivalist. Para-Lite is their newest creation.

The paracord itself is as strong as the kind you are probably familiar with, in that it is rated to hold up to 550 pounds of tensile strength. By opening up the paracord and revealing the seven strands within, you can find the red cord in a tricky situation, and light it easily to stay warm or cook food.

The red core thread inside is essentially tinder and can easily be lit. The other strands inside the paracord can be used for a variety of tasks, such as sewing, fishing, sutures and more.

Each roll of Para-Lite comes with 50 feet of paracord. This paracord can also be used to make survival bracelets, zipper pulls, belts and anything else you can think of. This is arguably the most important addition to any bug-out bag.

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Amazing Camping Locals in Florida

Florida is full of adventure and great spots for camping. There are quite a few destinations that are worth the trip nearby. Take the family on a weekend outing they will never forget. Make sure to stop by our locations for everything you will need for your family adventure. Below are a few places we recommend for any outdoor seeker.

Blue Springs State Park

Blue Springs is a much beloved Floridian favorite. Located in Orange City, the local is a convenient trek for anyone in Central Florida. You can spot manatees there for months on end (mid-November to March) and other native Florida wildlife. Admission is only $6 per vehicle and a campsite is $24 a night. Have fun swimming in these cold spring waters, or bring an inner tube for maximum relaxation.

Bahia Honda State Park

Located in Big Pine Key, this spot is famous for its view of the Old Railroad Bridge overlooking the water. Snorkeling is a very popular leisure activity here, with crystal clear water to see everything beneath you. Cycling, fishing and picnicking are just a few of the popular options for a day here. A campsite is $36 a night.

Hillsborough State Park

This park is just twenty miles from Tampa, and is located in Thonotosassa. It opened for the first time in 1938, so it has a natural history that you will be sure to enjoy. It features Class II rapids, a pool with a charming cafe and Fort Foster. Admission will cost you $6 per vehicle and $24 a night for a camping site. Canoes, bikes and golf carts are available for rent as well.

Juniper Springs Recreation Area

Located in the Ocala National Forest, Juniper Springs features magnificent waters, natural trails, and beautiful sites. It is one of the oldest and best known recreation areas in Florida. Swim in crystal clear waters, dine at the picnic tables or go on a run down the miles of trails. The trails were constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. Hundreds of springs can be found here amongst a dense canopy of lushes greenery. It will cost you about $13 per night to park here plus $21 a night to camp.

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Things to do in Florida in the month of August

 

Florida is always a place where adventure can be found, from Pensacola to Key West. As native Floridians, we have a lot of options, especially in the month of August, to keep ourselves entertained. Why not have fun and enjoy nature and the outdoors at the same time? Below are some ideas for you and your family to have a great time this month.

 

Sarasota Slam Fishing Tournament– This event has a 14 year history with thousands of anglers participating. This is a huge event that bring out fisherman and families alike. The competition includes several separate subcategories, including billfish, fun fish, and junior angler. There is also a dockside BBQ party at the end of the event which includes an award ceremony.

When: August 1st through the 5th

Where: Marina Jack, Sarasota

 

Night in the Islands– This festival is held six times a year and is a much beloved event amongst the Greek community. Experience what Tarpon Springs has to offer on the famous sponge docks. Partake in Greek cuisine and get free Greek dance lessons. Live music and great atmosphere are sure to make this event a hit.

When: August 5th

Where: Tarpon Springs Sponge Docks

 

Daytona Flea Market Arts and Crafts Show– Every month the Daytona Flea Market sets aside one day for local artisans and craftspeople around Florida to bring their items for sale. You can find things from vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, to classic furniture pieces.

When: August 13th

Where: Daytona Flea and Farmers Market, Daytona Beach

 

Strawberry Classic Car Show– If you like the classics, then you are sure to love this event. Classic cars, classic music, and delicious street food vendors will be on hand at this fun family event. A BBQ, raffle, DJ, and kids events are sure to show you and your family a great time.

When: August 19th

Where: Union Station Depot, Plant City

 

Mount Dora Seafood Festival– This delicious annual event is a tradition for Central Florida. You can try the region’s best fresh and local seafood. Local businesses abound at this event where you can sample the best fish Florida has to offer.

When: August 26th and 27th

Where: Elizabeth Evans Park in Mount Dora

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Little-known adventures in your own backyard

 

There are many little-known gems in Central Florida that can alter your reality in just a short car ride. These places are not only entertaining, but unique and beautiful in their own way. Enjoy nature and all it has to offer.

Marine Discovery Center in New Smyrna Beach, Florida

This place is full of different ways you and your family can connect with nature. With dolphin tours, education programs and even camps, you are sure to find something to do that is entertaining. Guided kayak tours allow you to experience the calm of the Indian River Lagoon and learn about the importance of taking care of our waterways.

With the Dolphin Discovery Tours, experience the beauty of nature and all it has to offer on a 36-foot pontoon boat. See dolphins, birds, and the simplicity of observing. You are sure to take home memories from Marine Discovery Center with whatever excursion you choose.

The Black Hammock

Enjoy nature on an exciting air boat ride just outside Orlando. Travel through nature and experience what old Florida was like. Hearing protection and life jackets are also provided for safety. You can even set up specialty rides if you call ahead and reserve your appointment.

The scenery changes with every season, so there is always something new to see each time you visit. You will see a variety of animal life, including alligators, turtles, and different types of birds. The Lazy-Gator Bar offers lakeside views and a full service bar to relax in nature with live entertainment on the weekends.

Whatever your choice, it’s nice to get away from the mundane and the ordinary and experience nature and all it has to offer.

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Adventurous and family friendly ideas for Floridians on only a tank of gas

Last minute get away ideas before the kids go back to school.

An air boat ride that will make your family genuinely appreciate nature.

Kenansville, Florida in Osceola County offers a lot for those that appreciate nature. Wild Florida air boat tours are sure to be a family hit. Make sure to bring the ear plus though, those air boat fans are quite loud. Your family can expect to see all types of wildlife on the tour, including blue herons, gators, and more.

You can truly appreciate what wild Florida looked like just a few hundred years ago. This land is virtually untouched by development, and allows for a great family escape to appreciate the little things in life. Kenansville is only a few miles from Florida’s Turnpike in Osceola County. Be sure to book your air boat rides in advance.

Frolic in the treetops in beautiful Crystal River.

Tree Top Adventure at Faith Haven Christian Retreat Center allows visitors to push themselves to the ultimate limit in this obstacle course more than 20 feet above ground. A system of ropes and tethers keeps you safe while you try to navigate the treetops.

Once strapped in, visitors climb a ladder to the skies and must find a way passed obstacles all while safely roped in. Climb around obstacles and zip down cable lines. Visitors can go through the course as many times as they choose during their allotted two hours. The business hopes to build self-confidence and strength in visitors through the challenges in the course.

For the adventurous family, try flyboarding.

In Palma Sola Bay in Manatee County, flyboarding is a recreational activity that may look strange at first, but packs quite a punch for thrill seekers. A water propelled jetpack straps to your feet, and uses the force of water underneath you to propel you upwards into the sky. You get to fly above water in the ultimate freeing experience.

People say it is actually much easier than it looks, and the worst case scenario is feeling like you are falling off a diving board back into the water. Just squeeze the throttle to be propelled into the air. For an adventurous family, this is the ultimate in an truly unique experience.

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Get Your Hurricane Supplies Tax Free This Weekend

Florida’s Sales Tax Holiday this Friday, June 2 through Sunday, June 4, 2017 – The latest news out of Tallahassee is Floridians are going to get a chance to buy hurricane supplies tax-free. During this three-day sales tax holiday, qualifying items related to disaster preparedness are exempt from sales tax.

You can find the hurricane supplies you’ll need at your local Al’s Army Navy Stores this weekend and get them tax free!  

So be sure to stop by Al’s Army Navy Stores where you can find the supplies you need.  These are a few of the top recommendations, and most we have in stock now:

  • Water purification straw and tablets, you absolutely can’t do with this.
  • Food, we have a full stock of delicious MRE’s (non perishable Meal’s, Ready-to-Eat)
  • Flashlights and batteries, too many to choose from to list.
  • First aid kit, small pocket size to larger for your Go Bag; even ones for your dog.
  • Whistle to signal for help and wow we have great ones, even 5 ways.
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place.
  • Waterproof carry all’s and a huge selection of Back Packs and Go Bags.
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities and we have multi tools that are compact.
  • Knife, from pocket knives to machetes and axes.
  • Manual can opener for food, of course we are an Army Navy store.
  • Local map and compass, many styles to choose from.
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio.
  • Solar phone charger.
  • Camping Gear, from small enough for your Go Bag to multi persons tents and folding cots.
  • InstaFire, fire starters, pack-able camp grill, glow sticks, para-cord, GoGirl
  • Personal Safety Supplies, from Pepper Spray to Tasers to Firearms and Ammo.

Complete details of the 2017 Disaster Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday are outlined in this link to a PDF from the Florida Revenue Department

Al’s Army Navy Downtown Orlando / Orange County: 23 N Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, FL 32805

Al’s Army Navy Seminole County: 1440 E Altamonte Drive (Hwy 436) Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

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Nalgene Water Bottles – The Original

What makes Nalgene water bottle so perfect? To start they are BPA Free, lightweight, shatter resistant, leak proof and made in the U.S.A. Also, resist to bacteria, stains and do not absorb odors. You can actually pour boiling water into them and they’re dishwater safe.

So when looking for the perfect Water Bottle solution that safely travels with you wherever you go look no further than your local Central Florida Al’s Army Navy stores.

Nalgene Water Bottles, sold in stores now and online at www.alsarmynav.com

nalgenewaterbottles

See that lime green one in the middle of the photo? It glows in the dark!

At all Al’s Army Navy locations Orlando, Altamonte Springs and Sanford.

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How You Can Prevent The Spread of Zika in Florida

UPDATE: As of August 10th, 2016, there have been 328 CDC-confirmed cases of Zika virus in Florida, with 6 of them being acquired locally.

It’s February, and 50°F outside, yet a case of Zika virus has been confirmed in nearby Osceola County. The rest of the country is still frigid, but Florida remains vulnerable, since mosquitoes are the main transmitter of the virus. What can you do to help prevent the spread? Continue reading

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